The Turkish Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) has imposed a monetary fine on opposition Halk TV over a program which it said “insulted” Azerbaijan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, online T24 news portal reported on Oct. 7.Azerbaijan wants Turkey part of future Caucasus peace process
The fine concerns journalist Levent Gültekin's remarks on “İki Bakış İki Yorum” (which translates as “Two Views, Two Interpretations”) discussion program aired on Halk TV earlier this week.
“Is Azerbaijan a state or instead a tribe? It has no democracy, no law, it has an authoritarian regime, there is no elections. They are swimming in money, they have not yet managed to build a proper state, and their lands have been invaded for the last 30 years,” Gültekin reportedly said during the program.
RTÜK said that Gültekin's remarks exceeded the “boundaries of criticism” and amounted to “insulting, derogatory and slanderous” statements.
RTÜK further said that the fine “was a message to the world” in terms of expressing Turkey's support for Azerbaijan.
“All members [of RTÜK] showed an attitude supportive of Azerbaijan at the meeting and said that the relevant remarks uttered at the program cannot be accepted. RTÜK members condemned Armenia's aggressive attitude,” RTÜK said in its statement, adding that the decision of the penalty against Halk TV was taken by a unanimous vote.
Turkey has shown support for Azerbaijan in its conflict with Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.Pashinyan says Turkey seeks to continue Armenian genocide in Nagorno-Karabakh